DonnainMe's Challenge to HERSELF
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  1. #1
    Registered User DonnainME's Avatar
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    Default DonnainMe's Challenge to HERSELF

    OK. I'm going to challenge myself starting NOW and going thru end of the year.

    First challenge - $100 in EF savings. We have $25 in there already - that is required to keep it open. DH will be laid off soon, so this will mostly be change and any extras I can get to put in there.

    Second challenge - $50 MAX eating out. That wouldn't cover much. If the 3 of us go out, we usually spend $25 and if it's just DH and I, it's almost $20 (sometimes $15) - so this is MORE eating at home (we don't eat out much but still too much on our budget).

    Third challenge - Limit spending on groceries. We do get food stamps so I will try to ONLY use that for groceries. We won't get food stamps again until 12/12 so we need to eat from stockpile and freezer until then. We WILL be able to go to the food pantry soon, so I will get some stuff from there.

    Fourth challenge - kinda goes along with #3. Limit cash expenses for hba items. Buy cheap fabric softener and detergent, etc - things like that. $10 per week.

    I have changed my signature to show my challenges. I will update on here some. Wish me luck.

  2. #2
    Registered User kestrel91316's Avatar
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    If I were in your position with virtually no BEF, I would forego ALL eating out for now, with the possible exception of a holiday treat in December. But that's just me.

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    Registered User Spikey1341's Avatar
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    I would also use homemade laundry detergent. Way cheaper than store bought.
    Jeanne

    Married to Frank 31 years, no children, 2 dogs


    CC # 1 and # 2 PIF
    BEF $5,100Car Loan # 1 $16,000:
    Car Loan # 2 PIF
    RV LOAN $57,000/17,000
    HELOC 38,000/PIF

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    Registered User kestrel91316's Avatar
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    I don't use fabric softener in the washing machine. I use dryer sheets, and I cut them in quarters. My box of dryer sheets has lasted me YEARS.

    Some people use distilled white vinegar in the rinse rather than fabric softener. I use it to rinse my hand washables that I do in the sink with my homemade laundry soap. I made a batch of that soap for pennies and IT has lasted years.

  5. #5
    Registered User DonnainME's Avatar
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    Some eating out will be required - we have to drive 4 hours each way next Sun to pick up DD from the airport. That is the only eating out I want to have. We also have someone else driving us there so will have to pay for their meal as well. We will have to leave about 5am because her flight comes in around 10:30am.

    I have laundry soap from stocking up earlier but have NO fabric softener. We don't have a dryer so I have to hang clothes dry in the house and we NEED fab softener with that. My $10 HBA a week will be for TP, Fab Softener, things like that. I think I can keep it under that though.

  6. #6
    Registered User DonnainME's Avatar
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    I just looked thru our chest freezer and freezer on top of the fridge.

    Came up with a list of meals. These will be lunches and suppers.

    Chicken, Rice, and Gravy
    Corn Chowder
    Beef Roast
    Beef Stew
    SOS with Noodles or Rice
    Sirloin Tip with Noodles or Rice
    Cheeseburger Pie X2
    Meatloaf X2
    Spag w/meat sauce
    Chicken Alfredo over Noodles
    Ravioli
    Garlic Parm Chicken over Noodles or Rice (sauce)
    3 cheese chicken (bag)
    Alfredo Chicken (bag)
    Salisbury Steal (box frozen)
    Rib Patties (box frozen)
    Turkey w/Gravy (box frozen)
    Hamburgers with potato crowns X2
    Shrimp stirfry or scampi
    Chicken & Buttermilk Biscuits (box) X2
    Asian Style Fried rice (box)
    3 Cheese Chicken (box)
    Chicken helper fettucini alfredo
    BBQ pork ribs in crockpot
    HB Helper X5
    Salisbury Steam (from scratch)
    Chili

    I can make all of those meals with what we have in freezer/pantry. I know some need things with them - like the Turkey with gravy from a box - I have boxed stuffing and we have tons of rice and noodles that can go with it. I need to spend about $10 though - I need a bag of potatoes, 2 cans of mushrooms, bag of frozen bell pepper, 2 jars of spag sauce, bbq sauce, and a bottle of ketsup.

    I started a TO DO list for tomorrow.

    I am going to turn in bottles - 5 cent per bottle refund - we have 2 full bags (kitchen size) and a partial large wm bag full.
    We need to pick up DH's check. It will only be like 18 or 17 hours.
    Deposit Avon money and a mileage check plush DH's paycheck in the bank.
    Go to DHS with his pay stubs, hopefully Food Stamps can go up for December. They were only supposed to be $221 but he's made less in Nov than they expected. More than $300 less so we should be able to get more than the $221.
    Do a WIC check. I still can get WIC until I am 6 months past the miscarriage (10/11). We have the BIG check left - 3 boxes of cereal, doz eggs, 2 gal milk, 1 lb cheese, 2 or 3 juices frozen. The cereal we can use for breakfast with the milk. The cheese we can use in the meals and drink the juices. I did find 4 frozen juices between the 2 freezers.

    I tried calling the food pantry but they didn't answer the phone. They might be closed because of the snow. Usually they are only open from 1-4 on Tues, 1-4 on Thurs, and 10-11 or 12 on Sat. I doubt they will be open Thurs. I might call them tomorrow and see if we can pick up stuff as an emergency. They have a thrift store in the same location.

    I didn't go to my counseling appointment today because of the snow. I wanted to see her but I didn't want to risk getting into a wreck. We have been stacking wood today - working for an hour and then resting for a bit. It's snowing and there is TONS of snow on top of the pile. We should get another pile too - they said this week, but I doubt it - maybe next week. I'm ok with it but if they don't get it here within the next 2 weeks I will call them then call the HEAP office.

    I also need to go to Family Dollar tomorrow to pick up more TP (only have 4 rolls in bathroom) and some fab softener. I want to do as much as I can tomorrow so I don't have to go out much more in this loaner car that's having issues.

    With HM laundry detergent - I have to use liquid - does that work? I have been getting like 90-110 uses for about $8 on my detergent.

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    I use white distilled vinegar as fabric softener in the washer. At first I was very anxious about it (whether it would smell) and how well it would do. I was totally amazed. The clothes come out smelling very fresh. A huge jar of vinegar lasts a very long time and costs a little over a dollar.

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    Licence to Kill Luv2BeFrugal's Avatar
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    Sounds like you've got some great plans lined up!! Wow! Lots of menu options, too!

    I did the math and homemade laundry detergent wasn't cheaper for me compared to the Sun brand we get at Walmart.

    We use dryer sheets...it's 1.08 for a box of 60. Less than 2 cents each...not bad.

    Could you take a "picnic" lunch with you to pick up your DD? Especially since you have someone else to feed, as well? You could make a great one for probably 1/2 the cost of eating out...

    Good luck with your challenge!!! You can do it!!!
    Kace - married to Dh for 14 years

    Always pinchin' pennies!

  9. #9
    Registered User pinecone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kestrel91316 View Post
    If I were in your position with virtually no BEF, I would forego ALL eating out for now, with the possible exception of a holiday treat in December. But that's just me.
    Nope, you aren't alone there. Last time DH and I ate out was on our anniversary in Sept. That was just at a Mom & Pop eatry with take-out ice cream and a walk around town.

    piney

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    Registered User pinecone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonnainME View Post
    Some eating out will be required - we have to drive 4 hours each way next Sun to pick up DD from the airport. That is the only eating out I want to have. We also have someone else driving us there so will have to pay for their meal as well. We will have to leave about 5am because her flight comes in around 10:30am.
    Ohhhh, gotcha.

    piney

  11. #11
    Registered User DonnainME's Avatar
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    I was thinking about packing sandwiches and snacks for the trip. DH and I were talking about that last night. I'm not sure what kind of sandwiches FIL likes but I can ask MIL. That will save us time (from stopping) and money. I really hadn't thought about it - DOH!!! We have a smaller cooler that DH uses for work lunches. This will be the last NH trip until Summer. I was supposed to fly the other 2 children HERE for Christmas but I can't afford it. This is the year I was supposed to get them for Christmas. It makes me very sad. I will start saving as soon as I can for getting them here in the Summer.

    We don't usually eat out much anyway. I was sometimes grabbing lunch on my way to my Tuesday counseling session. My appt is from 12 to 1 and I would go thru McD or BK drive thru. I have stopped doing that. I did forget to eat once a couple of weeks ago and went into a grocery store and bought a banana and a small cup of popcorn chicken with a water for lunch. I've been trying to eat before I go - just a sandwich or something.

    I talked to DH's work yesterday and she said they will be laying off soon but she's not sure when. It snowed all day yesterday and then rained most of the night - we're under a flood watch.

    I have my list of things to do today. I want to leave by say 8am so that we can get home in time to have lunch - NO EATING OUT.

    I am going to change my Eating OUT challenge to $25.

    I talked to the electric company today about going on a level billing and he's doing something GREAT. He said ONLY pay $50 in December and then my level bill will be $210. I do have a balance with them on an agreement and he figured that all in. He said that because our bills have been going down, it will catch up the account by end of Summer and give us a break for December. Our last bill was $176 PLUS $50 on agreement - the one before was like $202 PLUS $50 on agreement. The $210 is a better deal for us.

  12. #12
    Registered User DonnainME's Avatar
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    We went to town and got Dh's paycheck. Deposited that, plus Avon money, plus mileage reimbursement check into bank.

    We opened a Christmas Club account. I'm thinking of bottle deposit $ can go in there and then when Dh gets back to work in Spring, we can add weekly also.

    Went to Family Dollar. Bought Bleach, Fab Softener, Toilet Paper and 2 boxes of snacks. $1 for the snacks together and $7.72 for the rest. I'm taking $8 used from my HBA budget.

    We went to Save-A-Lot and spent $4.22. $1 is batteries and the rest were for mushrooms and potatoes. Took that and the snack food $ away from my Groceries for Nov.

    Went to DHS with the November paystubs for DH. We didn't make as much as they had expected. Our food stamps will go up in December from $280 to $328. She is also going to put $42 extra on our food stamp card within the next 2 days. I wasn't expecting extra - I was expecting some to go up for December. This is wonderful. IF/WHEN he gets laid off, they will adjust UP again to a max of $426 or so.

    Went to Movie Gallery and bought a pre-viewed movie for $3.99 - $4.19 with tax. It's WILD HOGS.

    We still need a few things under groceries, but finding out that we will get a little extra FS $, I am waiting until that comes thru. We need frozen bell pepper, bag of onions, 2 spag sauce, bbq sauce and ketsup. Total will be less than $10. No use in spending cash if I can wait a day or two and use FS.

    We are going to In-Laws tomorrow for Thanksgiving - we are making a desert and already have it in the house (box of turtle bars). We will probably make a box of lemon bars too.

    Next time to town, we are going Friday. We will go to WM and get those groceries.

    Sometimes over the next week or so we need to refill a propane tank - we use that for the stove. We also need to turn in the bottles. I had them in the car, but the parking lot of where you turn them in was PACKED and I didn't feel like waiting for an hour to get like $4 or so as a refund. I will take them next time I'm over there. That $ will get moved into the Christmas Club account we just set up. I am thinking of moving $5 there RIGHT NOW so that there is some $ in there. Yep, will do that when I get done and add that to Signature too.

  13. #13
    Registered User DonnainME's Avatar
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    I was able to deliver more orders. I need everything delivered and paid for by Monday so I can pay my bill to Avon.

    I NEED to make at least $100 every campaign (2 times a month) while DH is laid off. With that and the $200 a month Child Support, we will ALMOST have enough. I was playing with the budget earlier.

    Auto Insurance - no pymt until after Jan
    Electric - 210 per month no matter what bill is until end of Summer
    Gas - 20 per week
    Groceries - 10 per week (non food things - food covered with FS)
    Neopets - 8 (entertainment for DD)
    Netflix - 18 (entertainment for everyone)
    Home Phone - 75
    Cell phone - 35
    TOTAL 456

    If DH gets unemployment, that would be WONDERFUL but I really am not gonna think he can get it until I get a check in my hand. Reading the website, it doesn't look like he will qualify.

  14. #14
    Registered User DonnainME's Avatar
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    HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE.

    We went to the grocery store last night and did a WIC check.
    We bought:
    3 boxes of cereal (2 honey nut cheerios, one corn flakes)
    one dozen eggs
    2 gal 2 percent milk
    3 frozen juices
    jar of peanut butter
    1 lb Deli Deluxe Cheese

    We did buy tortilla chips and a dip. BAD US. BUT that we used for supper. Had sandwiches and chips w/dip.

    Today we are going to in-laws for Thanksgiving. We have some boxed deserts that we got free a couple of weeks ago that we will use. We told them we were bringing a turtle bars and DH wants to bring crumb cake too (I had wanted to make lemon bars). I may make the lemon bars and just keep them here.

    I'm already doing a load of laundry. I will hang them in the house so they should be dry before we get home. I'm also looking at bills that need to be paid. I'm going to do that in a few minutes too. I just need to pay some phone bill and my cell bill. Neopets will be coming directly out of the account soon ($8) and Netflix ($18) doesn't come out until around the 10th but I'm gonna leave the money in there for those too.

    Tomorrow we are planning on going to Walmart. They have hotwheels cars - 10pk for $5. I realized that I have an unequal amount of presents for my 2 children in TN. $5 to equalize that isn't bad. We are also gonna look at some of the $2 movies that WM will have for Black Friday deals. I told DH we can spend a little but not much. He wants to buy a set of dishes I have been looking at in the BF ads, but I keep telling him that we need to wait - they are $19. I have given him a LOW limit of $20 for us to spend on things (other than food stamps).

    I just called our Food Stamp card info line. There is $43.80 on there. YAY. We had $1.80 left on there. So at WM tomorrow we will buy the bell pepper (frozen), bag of onions, a few spag sauce, bbq sauce, and ketsup. Then on Sat, we will buy (from the store here in town) lunchmeat and bread for the trip to NH airport.

  15. #15
    Registered User DonnainME's Avatar
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    We went shopping some today. Spent more than I wanted to but I should have known we would.

    At WM - got the groceries we needed - 2 jars spag sauce, bbq sauce, and katsup. We also got a small package of pepperoni. We got several of the $2 movies (like 6 of them) and a $6 one (Xmen 3 with bonus disk) and a $9 one (Kung Fu Panda). Got Dh a video game - Wii Ben 10 for $16. Also bought son a 10 pk hotwheels to add to the box to ship to him in TN. Bought some stocking stuffers for Angelica (oldest that lives with me) - elec toothbrush that plays song and floss picks. We need to go to the local store today and buy a bag of onions and frozen bell pepper.

    We ended up going to Dollar Tree - got 5 refills of fabric softener. We can't go to that town often - with this borrowed car that's having issues, so we decided to stock up on things that I like to get there for cheaper - like the fab softener. DH wants to continue using Cottonnelle from Family dollar - 6 roll dble for $3.25. The DT TP is 4 single rolls for $1. I guess I can let him have the better TP. Also bought some word finds for each of our stockings and a Crossword for Angelica and I to work on sometime when we're bored. Oh yeah, bought book lights for Dh and Angelica. One of her gifts is a book she's been wanting so I thought this would go good with it.

    So, we are done with gifts for Christmas - other than a few more stocking stuffers for DH and DD. I have tiny stocking going to TN for the other 2 children but they already have stuff in them.

    Wasn't snowing while we were gone, but it is now. We brought in some wood. Still have quite a bit to stack - if it stops snowing today maybe we will get more stacked. If not, we're doing some tomorrow.

    Other than spending maybe $30 more than I wanted to, I'm happy with today. On Tuesday, we should get Angelica Phone in UPS delivery. I will wrap as soon as I can.

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